Ready to Party? – it’s the Virtual Illuminations switch-on

Blackpool illuminations switch-on – it’s the resort’s biggest party of the year – and for once, everyone is invited! The traditional Illuminations Switch-On concert usually takes place in a packed seafront arena with an audience of almost 20,000 people fortunate enough to secure a ticket. However, COVID restrictions mean no live 2020 event, the first break in more than 70 years. Instead VisitBlackpool is getting ready to stage its first ever virtual Switch-On.

The hour-long streamed Blackpool illuminations switch-on concert, in association with MTV, starts at 8.30pm on the night of Friday 4 September. It is freely accessible and will include exclusive “at home” performances by the likes of Melanie C, Becky Hill, Fleur East, Tom Grennan, Joel Corry, as well as a performance by Diversity and some special guest appearances.

It will also include live filming from a closed set inside the iconic Blackpool Tower Ballroom featuring show hosts Jordan and Perri, performances by Blackpool’s own Rae Morris and the switching on of the Illuminations by seven of the UK’s outstanding Corona Heroes.

To catch this possibly once in a lifetime Blackpool illuminations switch-on show comfortably, log on to:

before 8.30pm to watch. You can also check out visitblackpool.com/switchon for more information on the concert.

Please feel free to share your photographs of your own home illuminations at any of our channels below:

  • Twitter – @visitblackpool
  • Facebook – @loveblackpool
  • Instagram @visitblackpool
  • Email: [email protected]

The team’s favourite photos will be shared throughout the night.

After the virtual event, you can start planning a real trip through Blackpool Illuminations! The annual display has been extended by two months, running from September 4 to January 3, 2021 – so there’s plenty of time to fit the lights experience into your busy schedule!

This year’s Illuminations will be presented under a theme of Bring On The Light, celebrating the unstinting work of the NHS, key workers and other outstanding individuals during the coronavirus pandemic, with the famous Golden Mile featuring a display of hearts and rainbows. Go to www.visitblackpool.com for regular updates.

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Those who will help pull the switch to trigger four months of Illuminations are:

Leona Harris: The nurse from Rossendale has worked as a COVID-19 frontline nurse at Fairfield Hospital in Bury since the start of the pandemic.  Not only that, she has helped raise £75,000 and bought i-Pads for patients in hospitals, care homes, and hospices all over Britain to keep isolated patients and families connected. Her remarkable efforts earned her the nickname of “The Angel from the North”.

Rachelle Sutton: For three months, the nurse moved out of the family home and lived in a hotel so that she could complete 12-hour shifts at the Nightingale Hospital in Manchester at the height of the pandemic. During that time she won the “star award” from Nightingale for her dedication and compassion for end-of-life patients.

Will Ritchie: The six-year-old boy from the Wirral was born with a severe visual impairment and suffers with epilepsy. During lockdown his parents took the opportunity to increase his exercise tolerance. Over several weeks, he went from 100m to 1500m a day and then completed a challenge for June – Will’s Marathon Month. Inspirational Will has now completed 30 miles and raised more than £14,000 for the Wirral University Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust COVID-19 Support Fund.

Dr Jason Cupitt: The consultant led the COVID response at Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, working every day and most nights at the peak of the pandemic, spending only a few hours away from the hospital over several months. His constant presence provide encouragement and reassurance to staff and patients in the struggle against COVID-19.

David Anderson and Jasper the therapy dog. Hospital chaplain David and his cockapoo have provided support and comfort to sick patients as well as boosting morale for the staff on wards at East Lancashire’s NHS Hospitals. Earlier this year, Jasper was presented with an “employee of the month” award for his services to the hospitals.

Donna Doyle: Employed at Alder Hey Hospital for more than 40 years, the restaurant manager led her catering team through some unprecedented challenges, instantly doubling the number of meals produced on site to provide a free service for patients, families, volunteers and staff, and initiating a delivery service that took free food and drink to front-line staff.

Kirsty Jones: The nurse from Blackpool’s Trinity Hospice moved into a flat by herself in order to continue her work but also protect her husband who had an underlying medical condition and was on the shielded list. After moving out of the family home on April 15, Kirsty was only able to make daily contact with her husband and two children through Facetime calls. She was eventually able to return home and be reunited with her family five weeks later.

This year’s Illuminations Switch-on event will give well deserved credit to these magnificent people, who have persevered through all difficulties to serve their communities.


  • I have worked in the housing and transport professions for several local authorities, specialising in policy, strategy preparation and bid writing. Having always had an interest in film, the visual arts in general, theatre, music and lterature, I thought it would be good to combine the writing experience with these interests to contribute to altBlackpool. In addition to writing, my hobbies include watercolour and pastel painting, photography, woodwork, cycling and vegetable gardening.

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